016 - 11. The Ad Creative
Part II-H: The Business (continued)
As we near the end of Part II of this series, we begin our discussion on the Ad Creative step. In the previous post, we touched on some of the fundamentals surrounding content and how to avoid costly productions and instead, rely on organic content which is more relatable to the user. In this post, we will discuss the steps of putting that content to work. To recap Part II, in brief, there is a chronological step process to setting up your Facebook Marketing Campaigns. It begins with setting up the back end pieces (Facebook page, pixel, etc.), followed by selecting the Campaign Objective, then defining the input variables in your Ad Set (location, budget, audience, placements, etc.), and finally selecting the content from your asset library to execute the campaign. Similar to the Ad Set, the available options in your Ad Creative are dependent on the Campaign Objective and Ad Set variables selected. It is this reason why the chronological steps must be followed in order to ensure that the ads are properly set up.
The Ad Creative step is quite basic, but stresses more emphasis on the 'creative' component. Within in this step, and again, depending on the previous two steps selected, the Ad Creative has four general sub-categories: Content Type, Copy, Call-to-Action and Tracking.
This sub-category correlates with the previous post's discussion involving content creation and building an asset library. Whether the content is generated within the Facebook platform or it is imported from external software, such as Adobe, this is where that content is uploaded to your campaign. Content type files can range from a variety of different pieces: images, carousel images, videos, gifs, lead generation forms, dynamic ads, and much more. To dive into each of these, I encourage you to explore the Creative Hub section in your Facebook Business settings to help navigate the best file type to use based on your campaign objectives. Another item to keep in mind is the file size ratios in relation to the placements you selected in your Ad Set. This is important to make sure that your content is visible, not cut off, and meets the engagement criteria of that placement. The final check list item is something that most companies struggle with at first...the dreaded 80-20 Facebook rule. Perhaps I should have covered this on the previous post, but it is still useful here. The 80-20 rule is a ratio of images to text within the content. Facebook is very particular about this rule, and requires the input of text to be in the form of copy (which we'll cover in the next sub-category). There are many reasons that Facebook gives on 'why' they do not allow more than 20% text in their approved content...the most common being...they feel that Facebook users prefer content that is visual rather than the need to read. The truth, however, is that the algorithm cannot detect the text embedded within the content and therefore cannot measure the data sets from engagement or interaction. For a company that has more data and analytics than all organizations combined, this seems like a silly rule...but we have no choice but to comply. The companies that struggle the most with this rule are the ones that have their brand name spelled out as their logo. For example:
Dry Goods was forced to come up with an alternative logo that helps their Ads get approved due to the 80-20 rule:
Mastering the concept of the rule may take time, but when you learn the art of COPY, you will feel more comfortable with removing text from within your content.
The art of writing has been marveled throughout human history. The free-flowing brain dump of ideas, thoughts, emotions and feelings have shaped our evolution. When related to business, however, writing takes on a whole different approach by appealing to a potential customer. Marketing and advertising rely heavily on their message they get out about the product, service, employees, company values, etc. Digital marketing is no different. Copy is the text portion of a post...generally sprinkled with emojis, hashtags and brief descriptions. Writing effective copy is so important that it has become a full time job for many social media firms. The placement, platform, demographics and objectives are all relevant to the style of copy needed in order to encourage the user to respond to the Call-to-Action. Depending on the variable placements, there are several areas to include copy within your Facebook post. There are Headline sections, brief description sections, and body sections. Each may represent similar messaging, but the art of copy is capturing the user on all sections. Since Facebook implements their 80-20 rule, it is assumed that content can tell the story and dictate whether users will engage with a post or not. Simply viewing an image or watching a short video, however, does not necessarily tell the whole story or answer all questions that a user may have before deciding to click on a post. The copy is what tells the story. To use a fishing analogy, all the pre-ad prep work you did is the supplies you gathered before heading out on the boat. Once out there, you need to bait your hook with content and cast it into the area of the water that is defined by your target audience. The content is the bait, which attracts your fish, while the copy acts as your hook which nabs them. The better the content, the easier it is to reel them in. So what about all these hashtags and emojis? Do emojis even matter? Unfortunately, the answers are not general because each campaign has a different audience. Hashtags cycle through a rollercoaster-like age of engagement. Some are effective...most are not. The general rule on hashtags are to keep in brief and consistent with your content. Emojis are for esthetic purposes. We've de-evolved to write in hieroglyphics again...if anything, the ancient Egyptians would be proud.
On the next post we will discuss the final two sub-categories and wrap up the Ad Creative section.